by Lindsay Saperstone
A few weeks ago, while sitting in a conference room at the Hotel Aloha, in Managua Nicaragua, I suddenly realized just how unique of a meeting I was a part of – I was sitting in the presence of the entire value chain of a solar light business!!
Luciérnaga organized this week long summit in Managua to meet face-to face-with in country partners to establish goals for the New Year and brainstorm on how to deal with shared challenges. As promised, the meeting was fruitful as interpersonal contact critical to building an effective team and growing as an organization. It was also valuable to have all the different stakeholders to meet one another to better understand their needs and wants.
A. Manufacturers ship us product from their factories in China.
B. Luciérnaga, the Regional Distributor, imports lights in bulk and stores them in a central warehouse.
C. Wholesale Customers/Local Distributors purchase lights in bulk from Luciérnaga and distribute them in their home countries through cooperatives, NGOs and other organizations that work in rural, off-grid areas.
D. End Users are the individuals and families that purchase lights for use in their home or business.
Meet the cast of characters:
Abby Kehr (right), representing the manufacturer side of the value chain, is our sales representative from Barefoot Power. She came to showcase a few new products and collect customer feedback. Imerio Lobo (left) works for Trees, Water & People’s partners, Ut’z Ché in Guatemala. He has been serving as our primary local distributor in Guatemala since the beginning of the 2014.
Marlyng Buitrago and Leonardo Mayorga, from Trees, Water & People partner organization Proleña are also local distributors of lights in Nicaragua.
Felipe Fuentes Orozco is both a local distributor and an end user of the lights: “When I started selling lights for Ut’z Ché, my girlfriend and I each bought one too. I love having light at night and being able to power my tablet and cell phone. It has made working in the community much easier!”
(from left to right)
Paul Winkler: General Manager of Power Mundo, regional solar light distributor in Peru
Abby Kehr: Barefoot Power Sales Representative
Danny Stokley: Works for Impact Investing company Global Partnerships and came to explain the financing opportunities for both Luciérnaga and our distributors.
Ivan Caballero: Local distributor in Honduras
Richard Fox: Executive Director of Trees, Water & People/Luciérnaga